It's a fancy title, but what we have this week is a chocolate cupcake. It's kept moist (yeah!) by the technique used elsewhere in Rose's Heavenly Cakes (and in the Pie and Pastry Bible) of punching holes in the just-baked cake and brushing with ganache, and then the elegance to suit the name comes from an application of the lacquer glaze, also used other places. The other intended elegance is from the use of those foil "baking cups"--really just a foil version of the standard paper cupcake cup, but which can be used without a muffin pan because of the stiffness of the foil. These come packaged with white paper cups as spacers, but for this recipe Rose directs us to bake the cupcake in the white paper cup, treating it as a liner. I'm not sure that's in the product design, but the idea is to get this perfectly smooth lacquer glaze top spread to the edges of the paper liner, then put the finished cupcake back in the pristine foil cup for presentation.
I'm pretty pressed for time these days and so was glad to discover a half-cup of lacquer glaze in my freezer left over from the Chocolate Apricot Ginger Roll with Lacquer Glaze, mixed up with the packages of frozen egg whites I'll need for the next cake. That put this cake almost in the low-effort class....almost.
The cake was easy, the same batter as the Ice Cream Cake/German Chocolate Cake. The ganache is a milk chocolate version--younger niece pumped for a dark chocolate substitution, but then I accused her of really just wanting a cupcake paper half-filled with ganache (dark). She didn't dispute this....but I went with milk chocolate. My problems started when I was brushing the cupcakes, still in the paper liners in the foil cups in the muffin pan (got all that?), with the ganache. Maybe it was my distraction level, as I was discussing the completed installation of my new thermostat with the A/C technician as I brushed. Or maybe it's just me: I'm not good with careful work like this. Results: ganache on cupcakes, yes, though it never filled the holes I'd punched in the cake. Also ganache on muffin pan, pooled under the foil cups, and in between the paper liners and the foil. No pristine foil liners here.
The cupcakes then cooled, and I had the task of extracting the ganache-covered foil from the muffin pan (not too bad) and then the cupcake in its paper liner from the foil cup (messy). Oh, by this time the ganache was supposed to be set enough to not show a light fingerprint--nope. Stayed nice and sticky for me. The foil suffered in this extraction process, sometimes spreading outward as I tried to dislodge the cupcake so the foil would never match the paper liner again. (Well, someone with all that patience and dexterity that I don't have could probably re-pleat it and make it work. Not me.) I did then rinse off the foil cups so at least they were clean, for the ones that weren't too distorted to serve as a server for the finished cupcakes.
The final stage was to spread the lacquer glaze over the cupcakes. Rose gives the temperature needed for re-heated glaze to be spreadable, but mine needed to be even warmer than that to spread, and was still thick enough that it never cascaded down the sides--it was more like spreading frosting than the glaze consistency. However, that meant it covered up all the pock-marks from the ganache holes and it was still pretty and shiny, so I decided it was fine.
After all that, how did it taste? It's a nice chocolate cupcake. Light texture, good chocolate flavor, and moist from the ganache. Next time, though, I'll use regular cupcake liners, spread my ganache freely, and forget the lacquer glaze. A little dark chocolate ganache on top would probably be a good substitute, though not deserving of the "designer baby grands" title.